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Good Friday in Paraguay

Our first Good Friday in Paraguay is distinctly engraved in my mind. The normally noisy "barrio" was completely silent and no one left their homes. There was not one motorcycle on the streets that day. I thought I had missed the rapture!

Traditionally, Paraguayans do not cook on Good Friday, so on Ash Wednesday and Maunday Thursday, they work hard grinding corn to make sopa paraguaya , prepare the pig, chicken or beef for the grill and most commonly, elaborate the chipá. Most Paraguayans observe a type of "fast" by only eating chipá in representation of the Passover, (since it contains no yeast). They are silent in respect of Christ's suffering and death on the cross and do not leave their homes. I have grown to really enjoy this reverent observance of Christ's sacrifice and we join in with the cultural festivities.

There are 70 wonderful variations of chipá, including meat or corn filled versions. Here's the recipe for chipá that I'll be making today:

2.2 lbs (1 kilo) of almidón (yucca flour)
2 sticks of butter
4 cups of grated cheese (preferably white or mild cheese)
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 T anis
1/2 T salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix all liquid ingredients together, and mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry mix to the liquid ingredients. Mix dough by hand until firm and roll into balls. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you observe Good Friday in any special way?


  1. I'll have to look for some yucca flour. Can you get it in the US? It would be fun to surprise people when we get there by already knowing how to make chipa! :)

  2. I miss all the silence that surrounds good friday when I am not in Latin America, its such a restful time.

    I will miss the chipa too!

  3. I am awaiting the silence. Venezuelan tend to be big, loud party people and Semana Santa is when everyone goes to the beach. This will be new for me.

  4. It's so quiet here today in Mexico!!! I thought maybe I just wasn't hearing things as well because I have an ear infection, but I think it really IS quiet! So unusual for this neighborhood...the chipa looks great!!! Wish I could try one...we recently sampled some sweet tamales here in Mexico and they add anis, too. Probably nothing like the chipa, but it reminded me of those...


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